NFR: Demise of Livestock killing Cougar

#31
I have participated in several cougar hunts using hounds to track and tree the cougars. Cougar meat is very much like lean pork. Cougar chops are excellent grill fare and, being very lean, can benefit from some added fat in the form of a bacon wrap. Most people would have difficulty discerning the difference between this feline's meat and pork if it were used in, oh, say for example, sweet and sour "pork".
I enjoy the meat and would be happy to take it off your hands if you are a successful cougar hunter and don't wish to use the meat yourself.

Some previous posters referred to the killing of this cat as a "shame". I would like to state for the record that I enjoy killing my own meat and that I also have a tendency to smile when being photographed with a fresh kill. I feel not a shred of remorse, guilt, or shame for killing animals that I intend to eat.

It is legal under current law to pursue with hounds and kill cougars in 5 WA counties. There are also numerous "Public Safety Cougar Removal" hunts. These hunts are all conducted under "permit only" conditions and are monitored closely by WDFW. Cougars, as a species, are niether threatened nor endangered.

It is my personal belief that it is not possible to live on this earth without taking life, either directly or indirectly. The energy transactions neccessary to feed, clothe, shelter, and provide water for humans results in countless deaths of plants and animals every minute of every day. It seems to me the height of hypocrisy when those who prefer to take life indirectly claim some sort of moral superiority over those who choose to take life directly.

Perhaps a more responsible course would be to fine tune one's awareness of the life / death conundrum and attempt to live a life that recognizes the inevitability of death but seeks to minimize suffering.

JonB
 
#32
Another factor playing a role here may be one of economics. To trap, collar and release a cougar must take a bit of money. How many times is an agency willing to invest that kind of money? Continuing to trap an animal proven to be a livestock predator would probably look like throwing good money after bad for the agency. I'm sure if resources were unlimited for this kind of thing the animal could have been relocated far farther from civilation, but I don't see that happening on a budget.
 

Ryan Francis

HUMILITY IS NOT THINKING LESS OF ME, BUT THINKING
#34
What a beautiful animal. Sad as it is, it is necessary, once the animal has taken advantage of easy prey such as livestock, pets, etc. they
tend to not leave and become braver, small children then become at risk. Years ago, I was playing softball in Port Angeles and went to a
barbeque, the main course was cougar, I have to say it was delicious
 
#35
Its sad in a way how much respect people have for a certain fish species but not for wildlife and all nature in general. Catch and release should be the way in many of situtations and not just confined to fishing...Its to bad really.
 
#38
Its sad in a way how much respect people have for a certain fish species but not for wildlife and all nature in general. Catch and release should be the way in many of situtations and not just confined to fishing...Its to bad really.
Fishing, even C&R is still a blood sport. I have great respect for nature...and I fish/hunt.
 

fullerfly

Calvin Fuller
#39
If the cougar ate your dog/cat/sheep/cattle/etc.. you would all feel different. Back to the Wyoming wolf comment. If wolves were eating your livestock..wouldn't you would shoot them too?? Or would you simply watch thousands of dollars go up in smoke. Hard to picture living in Western Washington.
 
#41
You might be interested to know that before hound hunting was outlawed by initiative, there was a pursuit only season in which hunters were allowed to pursue cougars with hounds and tree them without killing them.

You would probably be surprised to know that most hound hunters are far more interested in pursuing and treeing cats then they are in actually killing them.
These pursuit only hunts served to foster a fear of hounds in the cougar population and served to keep these predators away from populated areas. Unfortunately, the simplistic and emotional message of the animal rights lobby prevailed and we have arrived a situation that was predicted by many of us that opposed the ban on hound hunting.

Before the citizens of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties (which hold sway over the rest of our state at the ballot box) voted to end hound hunting, catch and release was the rule, not the exception. I won’t pretend any ability to quantify this position statistically but I can offer this: WDFW has conducted several studies in which numerous houndsmen have volunteered countless hours to pursue cougars, tree them and collect DNA samples via dart guns. No cougars were killed during these hunts. Also, there is a continued interest in pursuing coyotes with hounds even though these hunts almost never end in the shooting of a coyote.

Speaking from personal experience, the thrill of hunting with hounds comes from the cooperation between man and dog in pursuit of animals, much like bird hunting or CnR fishing. The actual kill is secondary. It is unfortunate that this form of wildlife management is no longer available as it seems to have been very effective in controlling cougars and bears and limiting their interaction with humans in populated areas. Obviously, WDFW has seen the benefit of these hunts and this is why hound hunting has been reinstated on a limited basis in areas where cat populations are high and human/cougar interactions have been a problem. Allowing a pursuit only season in other areas would probably have a similar benefit.

Unfortunately it seems that the ideologues of the animal rights lobby are more concerned with an emotional/political victory than they are in the actual welfare of animals or the ecosystem as a whole.

JonB
 
#42
You might be interested to know that before hound hunting was outlawed by initiative, there was a pursuit only season in which hunters were allowed to pursue cougars with hounds and tree them without killing them.

You would probably be surprised to know that most hound hunters are far more interested in pursuing and treeing cats then they are in actually killing them.
These pursuit only hunts served to foster a fear of hounds in the cougar population and served to keep these predators away from populated areas. Unfortunately, the simplistic and emotional message of the animal rights lobby prevailed and we have arrived a situation that was predicted by many of us that opposed the ban on hound hunting.

Before the citizens of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties (which hold sway over the rest of our state at the ballot box) voted to end hound hunting, catch and release was the rule, not the exception. I won’t pretend any ability to quantify this position statistically but I can offer this: WDFW has conducted several studies in which numerous houndsmen have volunteered countless hours to pursue cougars, tree them and collect DNA samples via dart guns. No cougars were killed during these hunts. Also, there is a continued interest in pursuing coyotes with hounds even though these hunts almost never end in the shooting of a coyote.

Speaking from personal experience, the thrill of hunting with hounds comes from the cooperation between man and dog in pursuit of animals, much like bird hunting or CnR fishing. The actual kill is secondary. It is unfortunate that this form of wildlife management is no longer available as it seems to have been very effective in controlling cougars and bears and limiting their interaction with humans in populated areas. Obviously, WDFW has seen the benefit of these hunts and this is why hound hunting has been reinstated on a limited basis in areas where cat populations are high and human/cougar interactions have been a problem. Allowing a pursuit only season in other areas would probably have a similar benefit.

Unfortunately it seems that the ideologues of the animal rights lobby are more concerned with an emotional/political victory than they are in the actual welfare of animals or the ecosystem as a whole.

JonB
Very interesting! Thanks for the information.
 

fullerfly

Calvin Fuller
#44
Jon hit the nail on the head. We are still allowed to hunt cats w/hounds in Idaho and many people around here do it for the sport of the chase...much like the sport of the chase for a native steelhead. It is just a little excersise for the kitty.
 
#45
Jason, many people I've talked to thought that hound hunting for cougars was ridiculously easy. Nothing could be further from the truth. One hunt that comes to mind involved following our hounds all day from sunrise until it was nearly dark, in snow and -17 degree f. temps. At times we were wading through knee deep snow. The dogs lost the trail and picked it up again 3 times. One dog was lost and we didn't find her until 3 days later when she showed up at the spot where we originally dropped the tailgate. She had actually gained a few pounds from eating on a nearby deer kill that the cougar had left behind. A well trained hound is an amazing animal.

It's kind of surprising what you can learn about animals and how they interact when you are hunting with hounds. Sometimes it IS easy and you tree the cat 300 yds from where you drop the tailgate. Other times you hunt for days without seeing a track. Either way you are constantly learning and honing your skills. It's a lot like fly fishing in that regard.

JonB
 

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